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High school orators invited to compete in annual American Legion Speech Competition

High school orators invited to compete in annual American Legion Speech Competition

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High school students are invited to compete in the 83rd Annual American Legion High School Oratorical Scholarship Program which offers students over $203,500 in scholarships.

The American Legion Oratorical Contest exists to develop a deeper knowledge and appreciation for the U.S. Constitution among high school students.

Since 1983, the program has presented participants with an academic speaking challenge that teaches important leadership qualities, the history of our nation’s laws, the ability to think and speak clearly, and an understanding of the duties, responsibilities, rights, and privileges of American citizenship.

In the prepared oration portion of the contest, the subject must be about some phase of the Constitution of the United States, emphasizing the duties and obligation of a citizen to our government.

The prepared oration must be the original effort of each contestant and must be 8 to 10 minutes in length. Also, the contestant presents a 3- to 5-minute oration on one of four “assigned topics.”

Interested high school students first compete at the local American Legion Post level sometime in October, with the winner advancing to the district contest. District contest winners who advance and participate in the area competition will be awarded a $100 college scholarship each. The four area winners advance to the state finals held each January in conjunction with the American Legion, Department of Nebraska mid-year conference. The state winner receives a $1,100 cash college scholarship and advances to the national contest. Second through fourth place receive college scholarships of $700, $500, and $300, respectively.

In addition to the awards by winners of the various elimination rounds of competition, college scholarships of $25,000, $22,500, and $20,000 will be awards to the first through third places in the national finals.

Each state winner who competes in the first round of the national contest will receive a $2,000 scholarship. Participants in the second round who do not advance to the national final round will receive an additional $2,000 scholarship.

High school students interested in participating should contact their local high school guidance counselor, speech instructor, or local American Legion Post.

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